Norwegian ski jumper Carl Howelsen made his way to the Yampa Valley in the early 1900's. The largest and most complete natural ski jumping complex was founded in Steamboat Springs, Colo. by 1913. Today, Howelsen Hill needs vital improvements to continue providing the best training ground possible for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC)'s future Olympians.
Howelsen Hill stands as the oldest, continuously run ski area in Colorado. It's owned and operated by the City of Steamboat Springs in partnership with the SSWSC. The Howelsen Hill Centennial Campaign is entering Phase 3 of their Centennial Capital Campaign.
"After we (SSWSC and Steamboat Springs) received so much attention from the Olympics and the Nordic Combined team medals, the city asked what they could do to contribute to the club," says SSWSC Director Rick DeVos. "The first thing that came to mind was to have them get on board to help us improve their complex."
A new magic carpet surface lift at the beginner's area, snowmaking upgrades, lighting for terrain areas and Nordic jumps, and installation of a new K38 summer jump round out the necessities for the current campaign. Lighting improvements include an additional 14 light poles to illuminate the terrain park, Nordic jumps and landing area, and the Boardercross/Ski Cross training area. An additional water pump, new piping, and more snow guns will allow for double the current capacity of snowmaking.
"With the additional snow-making capabilities we can cut on severe costs for our athletes traveling to Summit County for early-season training," explains DeVos. "As soon as it gets cold enough, we can blow snow and keep our kids here, in school, training locally."
Extended lighting will allow late-evening training in the terrain park and better visibility for the Nordic jump area. Adding plastic to the K38 jump will further aid in the cutting of travel costs for up-and-coming ski jumpers traveling to Park City, Utah, for summer training.
The goal is to raise $2.3 million for Howelsen's improvements. The campaign plans for $1.75 million to come from grants and public appropriations. The City of Steamboat Springs already has donated $250,000.
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